Wireless Network Evolution

What's a future without robots?
Heck, as I mentioned before, I’m a bit of a luddite compared to many of my colleagues, but as I sit and write this in a coffee shop, my laptop is connected to WiFi while my phone sits on the table connected to my mobile carrier’s network and synced with my FitBit via Bluetooth. And I just checked an app on my phone to make sure I remembered to set my thermostat to “away,” and while I was doing that, I got an alert that the new Fire tablet I ordered has shipped and will be on my doorstep tomorrow, on its official release date.

We live in the future. So how do we make it all work?

The next G

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off by talking about 5G, even though it’s always hard to pin down what exactly constitutes a new “G". 

Verizon has teased that its 5G network has shown speeds in tests that clock in at 30-50 times the speed of their 4G networks. That translates to higher speeds than those available through home connections to Google Fiber.

Elsewhere, the EU and China just signed an agreement to jointly develop 5G technology. South Korea also hopes to have a trial of its 5G network in place in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and Japan hopes its 5G will be ready for the 2020 summer games.

These networks will no doubt be lightning fast and exciting, but buildouts are slow and there are lots of wireless developments happening on a much smaller scale.

Small Cells

We at Pipeline have been tempered in our enthusiasm for the small cell market over the years, but there are a number of signs that small cells are poised for substantial growth as a response to the seemingly limitless demand for mobile data.

The Small Cell Forum, an industry group in the space, reported earlier this year that more than 10 million small cells have been deployed globally by more than 75 operators, and that deployments are set to accelerate in the next 12 months.

And small cells are getting better. SK Telecom partnered with Ericsson for a recent trial of advanced small cell technology that it says increases communications efficiency by 215 percent.

Huawei is also among the many vendors who have been enthusiastic about the small cell market, and company spokespeople have been quoted as saying that they expect the small cell market to double in the coming year.  A Huawei report from last year [PDF download: ] cites an ABI Research estimate that outdoor small cell units will grow at 52.7% CAGR to reach 3.5 million units by 2018.


Latest Updates

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel